Don Baker, Vietnam veteran
Des Moines, Iowa, USA
The year was 1967.The point of entry was Cam Rahn Bay. I was with the 855 GS Company 1st LOG. Command.I was trained as a supply clerk. As a non combat soldier I spent my Tour of Duty setting up and shipping supplies to our combat troops.The work was hard and the days were long. But I tried never to complain. Cam Rahn was one of the safest places in Viet Nam. I spent most of my tour there doing what my Country had ask of me.
After about six months here we were moved to a place called Long Binh north of Saigon. It was here that we became familiar with the term Black Out and Red Alert. We spent the next few months cleaning up a supply area that had been hit by the VC. The days got longer and the nights shorter. We begain to pull guard duty almost every day along with our work at depot. Our Company had been groomed to do just that. We began to have sleepless nights and days full of wondering.
In a few months we moved TDY to Saigon for a few weeks than on to Da Nang by way of sea. We had been in Da Nang a few weeks when we found out that our safe haven in Cam Rahn had been hit and almost completely destroyed. In just a few more weeks we heard that the depot at Long Binh had been hit also. This time it was worse than ever before. By this time we were getting used to the fighting going on all around us. To me it seemed that we were never in harms way as the boy's in the field. But now I was taking a second look at this. Things had changed and not for the better.
I finished my tour while in Da Nang. I hopped on that Freedom bird and flew home to finish out my time state side. But as I look back at my time spent in Viet Nam I wonder! Just what were we doing there anyway? 33 years later a Buddy from my company calls me out of the blue just to make contact. It is than that I find out that our company area along with an ammo dump and a choppers company was hit and almost destroyed.
I lost Army Buddies and Buddies from High School in the war. My life will never be the same again. The war 33 years later is still touching my life and changing the way that I look at the Military Service today. Do I want my Son and Grandson to go through what I and others have? I really don't know. But this I do know! My Hero's are the boys who died in the field. The ones we supplied. But my Buddies in my Company are also my Hero's, for without there help and support I'm not at all sure that I could have made it. It is in their Honor that I write this letter.